To be fair it was a very generous sandwich, good fries and free refills, but it left me with a handful of change and no inclination to dash through the rain to window shop when there was no possibility of buying anything. So I rather sulkily shook the mud of Silverton off my boots and headed home. Ironically, once I got up out of the valley the rain cleared and it was gorgeous again. I'd like to go back someday for a proper look around but at the time I was wondering if I had been cursed. The Animas River that runs by the back of the town is also known as "Rio de las Animas Perdidas", or the River of Lost Souls. It felt like that kind of afternoon.
Fortunately, I had made a few stops along the way down. The scenery on Million Dollar highway is breathtaking, and just off the road, about halfway along on the way to Silverton, is Ironton. Established in the early 1880s, it survived into the early 20th century but declined over the years and was finally completely abandoned in the 1960s.
It is settled into a hollow between the road and the Red Mountain Creek
but there are a few fairly intact.
These two were the best preserved. The windows on the ground floor of the first one were open so there was plenty of light but in the upper floor, and all the windows of the white house, had been boarded up. A few of the pictures I took in pitch black rooms with my flash and couldn't see what they actually looked like until I got back to the hotel and downloaded them onto my computer.
There was some fascinating detritus in these old houses. Like old mattress springs -
|The 60s? Could be the 30s.|
In the first room of the white house, the one with the door, there were some large remnants of a very pretty pink wallpaper, as well as some of the white ceiling paper.
Abandoned places are compelling. I could hear traffic from the nearby road but couldn't see it through the trees and I enjoyed having it all to myself.